Removing biases in oceanic turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate estimated from microstructure shear data

Type Article
Date 2023-01
Language English
Author(s) Ferron BrunoORCID1, Bouruet Aubertot P. Bouruet2, Cuypers Y.2, Vic Clement3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, IUEM, Brest, France
2 : LOCEAN-IPSL, Sorbonne Univ. (UPMC, Univ Paris 06)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, Paris, France
3 : Univ. Brest, CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, IUEM, Brest, France
Source Journal Of Atmospheric And Oceanic Technology (0739-0572) (American Meteorological Society), 2023-01 , Vol. 40 , N. 1 , P. 129-139
DOI 10.1175/JTECH-D-22-0035.1
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) Turbulence, Mixing, In situ oceanic observations, Data processing/distribution
Abstract

To calculate a turbulent kinetic energy dissipation 11 rate from the microstructure vertical shear of the horizontal velocity via a spectral analysis, shear spectra need first to be cleaned from vibrations of the moving vehicle. Unambiguously, this study shows that the spectral cleaning must be applied all over the frequency range and not only at frequencies larger than 10 Hz, as a recent study suggested. For a Vertical Microstructure Profiler VMP-6000, not correcting for vehicle vibrations below 10 Hz leads to overestimated dissipation rates from 50 to 700% for usual downcast velocities and for weak dissipation rates (ε < 1 × 10−9 W kg−1). Vibrations concern all vehicles but the exact vibrational frequency signature depends on the vehicle shape and its downcast velocity. In any case, a spectral cleaning over the whole frequency range is strongly advised. This study also reports on a systematic low bias of inferred dissipation rates induced by the spectral cleaning when too few degrees of freedom are available for the cleaning, which is usually the default of the standard processing. Whatever the dissipation rate level, not correcting for the bias leads to underestimated dissipation rates by a factor 1.4 to 2.7 (with usual parameters), the exact amplitude of the bias depending on the number of degrees of freedom and on the number of independent accelerometer-axis used for the cleaning. It is strongly advised that such a bias is taken into account to recompute dissipation rates of past data sets and for future observations.

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